tv [untitled] March 5, 2012 10:30pm-11:00pm PST
-- equity is not equality. equality is from equity. start with that concept. flynn elementary school, for the last 10 years, and all of you know that, has gone to every two years they have a new principle besides every new year. i have the numbers. then turn around. principles turned over. my first year, i had to hire 15 teachers. i have the data about that. out of those teachers that i had, this year i had to hire five teachers. those teachers went through professional development during the summer, during the fiscal year. who is going to fund the
training? how are we going to make sure our african american kids and latino kids are going to get the quality of education they need, if we are turning over teachers every single year? it gives you a point to think about. president yee: thank you for that group, in terms of keeping close to the time. let us bring up the other group that may have some objections to any of these resolutions. if you are here, come on up, please. i will keep close tabs of the time. anytime you want to get started. >> i teach at alvarado elementary school.
i am totally in support of protecting schools in need. i support the effort the board has made. i teach at schools not in the zone. we are a hard-to-that zone. as superintendent garcia mentioned, we have been on that list as far as we have been at the school. we have been in improvement longer than i have been at the school. we have been hit hard by layoffs every year i have been at the school. we serve schools in visitation valley, in a historical and underserved community. our teachers want to be at eldorado. they receive specialized training, including $45,000 of teacher training at columbia university. we also host the only san francisco teaching residency program in elementary schools.
we think that schools in the desert protection. to put struggling schools against each other to fight for crumbs is not a positive resolution for our district. i ask you to support all schools in need, not just the ones labeled in the zone. that is not equitable. i have a letter i would like to submit that shows we are in need of protection for our teachers. >> i am carolyn samoa, the vice president of paraprofessionals at the elementary and middle school. very soon, you are going to lay off paraprofessionals, and
reduced hours, for a total of 249. i urge you to vote down the resolution. i am here to bring your attention to how these layoffs are going to affect not only those who will be laid off, but the students at the schools their work at. if you go through this resolution, including the language, for many of our students, english is a second language. paraprofessionals are often the only people at the school who speak the home language to the students and their parents. if you go through the layoffs, there would be only three left. they are doing amazing work every day, and are successfully turning around the truancy rate in the district. you are also considering waiving out parents who work in the state free k -- pre -k,
unsettling state ratios. you are also considering cutting student adviser parents. finally, with the expansion of exclusive practices and ever- increasing students with needs in the special education students, you are considering for the first time cutting hours of special education parents. who will support the students? paraprofessionals are a vital part of our school communities. please think long and hard before you vote on this resolution. you do not have to do this.
>> good evening. president, i am going to ask for two minutes. there are only a few of us here to speak on this side of the question. president yee: granted. >> superintendent garcia has delivered a message that we would get through this. he has asked us to stick together. he has stated the layoff procedures are directed by the state. but the resolution that has been presented tonight uses the fiscal crisis to pick school against school, community against community. it is a frontal attack against seniority. it is a violation of the district goal of access and equity to make social justice a reality. it is an attack on labor. we are the ones who do the work in the school. it is an attack on unions. we do not expect this type of
divide and conquer tactic in san francisco. the union and the district have worked together. we have sent several contracts together. we have gone together to the voters for parcel tax, for bond issues, for set asides. the district should focus on doing the right thing for all of the students in san francisco. do not foster division and animosity in the district. it is not going to serve the schools, the district, or our community. i hope you will consider that when you have to vote for this very destructive resolution. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen of the board, the audience, and president yee. if you can give her two minutes, how many do i get? layoffs are one thing.
we go through them fairly often. sometimes, they are inevitable. you have your hired gun over here, and john e. -- john yee. he will do it. skipping schools is flat-out wrong. i represent every one of those teachers. the teachers who will be skipped and those who will not be skipped. we are not asking for special favors. we are asking for equality for all of those people and justice for all of those. four board members to do it is wrong. proposing it is wrong. it makes the proponent no better than our need duncan -- arnie duncan, and the winners and losers this administration says it despises. stability in the zones is not achieved by the stabilizing
other schools. professional development in these tunes -- zones is lessened when it is not available for the others. when you to social justice for some, you choose social justice for non-. to rely on benchmark tests, which you have heard referred to as "data," which have not been validated, is indefensible and is not even smart. the principal who stood here and told you he had to hire 15 teachers and then five teachers -- those were not because of layoffs. he admitted those were not because of layoffs. so do not operate on false assumptions. the orchestrated show of support you are able to put together tonight is reminiscent of the failed superintendent who went to philadelphia.
you had principles here from all the schools, right? nice job. board members are not elected to make decisions that they know are wrong. skipping schools and creating high-breaking rules that allow it is wrong. it is immoral. it is divisive. it will not be forgotten. it will not be forgiven. thank you. >> are you out there? good evening. my name is robert michel. it is a good thing to go last. the one thing i want to say that i did not hear is basically who i am in the classroom. i am occur professional who at the beginning of the year had 7.5 hours.
then it was a loss of hours. i had to go to the actual work, physically go there, to keep the rent and all that. anyway, the 4.5 hours i am there, i am telling you i am worth every goddamn panic. my students come around in three ways. the lead teacher takes a group. i take a group. another parent takes a group. -- another para takes a group. we switch them around. then noon comes, and i go away. they looked at me like "why are you leaving early"? i want to say something i did not hear. it is actually a tactic that sounds like made whitman -- meg whitman. more from less?
stop that. president yee: are you speaking, or not? otherwise, i'm going to end this part. >> good evening. executive board, united educators of san francisco. i wanted to point out some data. since we are no longer teaching from a creative bag of tricks, we are not pursuing the art of education anymore. i do have some data for you. here, there are 63% economically disadvantaged students. it is part of the zone.
at sanchez, it is 92.6% disadvantaged students. where is the data-driven policy here that this administration seems to be so enamored of? malcolm x -- at muir, there is 689 -- they scored 689 on the api. not an ex is 790, in the zone. -- malcolm x is 790, in the zone. muir is 689, in the zone. webster is not in the zone at 672. o'connell in the zone, 594. jordan, which unfortunately falls out of the zone -- i guess those students are not part of the data.
somehow, they are less human and less eligible for the special consideration of the superintendent's zone. president yee: thank you for your testimony is. board members? any questions or comments? ok. commissioner? >> thank you for the public testimony. ok, so this is a hard issue. the issue of skipping is a hard issue to address, and it is a very hard issue to stomach. i recognize that labour in this country sets the standard for a
living wage and working conditions. nobody needs to tell me that. i know that because i belong to a union, local 2, my husband, 35 years, san francisco policemen, part of the police officers association, and my daughter is a labor organizer. so i know the power of seniority. but it is -- it is a hard decision for me to make, too. i think it is hard for anyone to appear to make this decision. personally, i resent that every year i have had to make this vote, ugly as it is. it is a direct result of what happens when the state under funds education. and it is true, it pits people
against people, program against program. and today it pits at labor against board members and also the district, and it is the wrong way to work. as mr. kelly says, it is wrong, and there are many, many things that are wrong, but there are some things i cannot ignore. one is that before i became a board member i was a community organizer, and i worked for komen advocates. a year after year, we saw a broken promise after broken promise to the students. we have cut the red ribbon i don't know how many times. i was there when arlene said, private education for public school children, who would not
want that? promise after promise after promise. yes, mr. kelly, there are many things wrong with this, but i believe the in my heart broken promise after broken promise i can no longer be part of it. i cannot be part of it. i stood at that podium and i wrap rate -- reprimanded the school board for broken promises to all of those children in the bayview. i sat in their living room and i spoke to their parents and grandparents. i know there are other schools in need. it was up to me, i would spend millions and millions of dollars and give every single teacher in this district that training and professional courtesy. we are at the point where we have millions of dollars invested in this resource, and i
cannot in good conscience allow that resource to leave the zone and move to even another district. i just cannot do it. and i know this is a hard choice for everybody here. i think the process is flawed, personally. i think that ideally, we would have an equitable teaching staff work group to develop a proposal from parents, students, and teachers impacted that keeps achievement of the students -- there are always left behind -- a top priority, while seeking to protect the rights of our union workers. i am voting for this resolution , and do i think that it is fair? do i think that it is a wholly right to do?
i am trying in the best way that i know how to change for decades what has happened to the schools. do i think we should expand the zone to include eldorado? absolutely. should we expand it for mlk? absolutely. should we would for the middle school? hell yes. because every teacher should get this kind of professional development and training. every school, every teacher, every school. >> if you don't do it for all, don't do with for one! >> this is where we disagree. it is not just money, it is how we have used this money and professional development, which every teacher in this district i think agrees we need more of. i will not argue here, because you have had your two minutes
and now it is my turn to speak. as we make this vote, when you to know i will also have to answer to a higher authority. and, mr. kelly, you may think it is you. >> commissioner -- >> when i left home today, my husband said to me, don't do it. he is a union man, too. my daughter is the one i am really afraid of. i am asking my fellow board members today to join me. i am terrified to do this. it but i know in my heart that i cannot look myself in the mirror and not make this vote. i have an opportunity here to do something that i beg board members for decades to do, and that is to help the schools. and this is the best way i know how. [applause]
president yee: commisioner maugus? commisioner maufas: i thought you were going to say something. president yee: i was, but that has passed, so let's move on. commissioner maufas: i want to thank commissioner fewer, because i know her and i know her heart and i know her intellect. it is not easy. i will not be joining her. i take this vote so incredibly seriously. and i will just tell you now i
am voting no, period. no to the layoffs, period, because we are struggling. i know it, you know it. and to think that or imagined that we can find the money elsewhere -- we can. but to imagine or think that is not attached to another person? that is a fantasy. but i wore my button today and i have worn it every day in the past year about the funding to placer. they say, are you a teacher? i say, i am not. i am a school board member. the house, the omega, the baiale beginning and the end begins the classroom. that means a note to layoffs and
finding money elsewhere. it is no to the layoffs and find the money elsewhere. it does not make it any easier. it does not make it easier. it just is that i am about defending the classroom. we have more commissioners that you will hear from, hopefully, but you know where commissioner fewer stands. and i cannot blame her. but you also know where i stand. president yee: any other comments? norton? commissioner norton: commissioner fewer, i want to thank you for the courage you have displayed here. i came into the office today looking for any way that i could vote against this resolution.
and justify a vote that i know will be deeply painful to the people that i consider supporters and friends. . and i was not able to find that justification today. first i thought that perhaps we could compromise by drawing the line around at a smaller number of schools, a set of schools that i feel as clear justification for taking the steps we're being asked to take. to say that schools as clearly defined, you know the schools, many of us are aware of the amount of money that has been given to us by the federal government to work on the schools, to improve the schools. we only have that money for
three years, significant money, invested and professional development in the schools. i thought that would be a more reasonable compromise. and then i looked more closely at the list of schools and realized that by cutting down the number of schools, i would be cutting out many schools in the bayview, which is an area of the school that, as commissioner fewer, said, we have many years broken promises. at the end of the day, i could not find a way to justify that in my own mind. i think why i have struggled so much with this is i thank the data that you gave us shows there is an arbitrariness to where we have drawn blinds, --
drawn blinds, the superintendent's zone. why isn't alvarado a superintendent zone? it should be. i ask that question to the superintended today. i ask that question to the deputy superintendent, that question, and the answer was, we cannot do all of the schools that once. given what i know what our budget looks like, given i know what has happened every year but does happen to the budget since i sat on this board, i know they are right, we cannot do everything that we should do, that we rightly should do for the students, that they deserve. i, too, and terrified to take this vote. i did not like taking it. i know that is deeply painful and will be seen as a vote against our partners in the schools, our partners in labor.
i think that this is a stat. we must take at this time -- i think this is a step that we must take at this time come to realize the efforts we have made in schools that have generally silly bent -- that have generational the benen not havig what they need for their students. we are seeing progress and i am grateful for that. while this is very scary and that an unhappy vote, i am going to support the resolution. president yee: anybody else? go ahead, commissioner mendoza? commissioner mendoza: thank you. this is a board meeting that none of us like to come to. i could have stayed home.
i have been excused last three days because i have been sick, and i have been lying in bed reading this resolution over and over and over again. i actually was not sure if i was going to come in, because this is a tough vote, but it is an important vote. i came in today because, like sandy, i have seen challenges in the district year after year after year. and the reason i sit on this school board and sacrifice my time with my family and do the things that we do is because we have opportunities like this. and i don't say opportunities lightly. these are the types of conversations we have to have, like we did with the schools in the bayview last year, talking about turning them around. we fought parents about what
they felt was a good school. they're now saying -- seeing that there is a better way of looking at our schools and that there are true improvements that can happen. as a parent who has gone to two schools where turnover was just part of what we do, and where we have seen arcade's challenged -- where we have seen our kids challenged every day because of the instability,. leaders have not to this day been able to ask for stability in schools that have been meeting at the most for so long. -- that have been needing it the most for us so long. we talk about functional justice for some, but social justice for some has